Near Elijay in the Cattachoochee National Forest, the Panther Creek Trail (#116) passes through the Cohutta Wilderness and has gorgeous views from atop the falls and surrounding cliffs. The unspoiled beauty of the Cohutta Wilderness provides an excellent source of peace and serenity. The Panther Creek Trail is only 3.5 miles long, however, the best access route to the trail is along a 4.5 mile stretch of the Conasauga River Trail (#11). Thus the total one-way distance is 8 miles.
This trail is adventurous and challenging by climbing cliffsides through gaps in the rock, winding over and under enormous outcrops, reaching a large rock landing on top of the falls, wandering a huge boulder field that is held by a internal canopy of a complex root system, standing in the base of the falls, and following the trail with all of its lush vegetation and sounds of the wild.
To reach the hiking trailhead, follow SR52 west to Lake Conasauga Rec Area, then turn right on FS 18, and right on on FS 68, then right on FS 64. Park at the Conasauga River Trailhead. Head north on the Conasauga River Trail for about 4.5 miles and look for the Panther Creek Trail on the right across the river.